Following other quarterback trades and speculation taking place this weekend, could Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins also be traded this offseason?
With a busy offseason lying ahead for many quarterbacks and teams throughout the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings could end up also being a team that is also included in the shift of players under center this offseason.
For the past three seasons, Minnesota has featured Kirk Cousins at quarterback after the organization went out and signed him as a free agent prior to the start of the 2018 season.
Since Cousins has joined the Vikings, he has been under some scrutiny when it comes to his performance based on the lucrative contract he had signed as a free agent and has since held in Minnesota.
Overall, the veteran quarterback has been solid for the Vikings and has also remained healthy throughout his time in purple and gold as well. In three years in Minnesota, Cousins has played in a total of 47 regular-season games with a record of 25-21-1 overall.
His best season to date came in 2019 when he led the Vikings to a 10-5 record and a trip to the playoffs, also receiving his second career nod to the Pro Bowl.
With Minnesota, the 32-year-old has completed 1,081 passes (69 percent completion percentage) to 12,166 yards, 91 touchdowns and 29 interceptions. He has also rushed 107 times for 342 yards and three touchdowns over that span.
Even with Cousins’ consistency and solid play under center, that doesn’t mean the Vikings wouldn’t ultimately move him for the right price.
Over the weekend, the NFL saw its first quarterback move in an offseason that will be packed full of quarterbacks joining new teams. On Saturday, the Detroit Lions traded Matthew Stafford to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for Jared Goff and draft picks.
Following that move, along with the impending rumors and moves that will still take place before the 2021 season kicks off, could Minnesota join in on that movement and ship away its starting quarterback to shift focus to a new quarterback moving forward? It’s reportedly not out of the question.
On Monday, an intriguing idea of Minnesota looking to trade Cousins to the San Francisco 49ers in what would be a reunion with the quarterback and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan, who spent time together in Washington when Cousins was under center and Shanahan was the offensive coordinator, was floated.
This reunion of sorts has been a topic for over a year now, with many around the league knowing Shanahan has a fondness for Cousins and the ongoing questions surrounding Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback in San Francisco could persuade the team to make a move for another quarterback.
Over the weekend, NBC Sports also wrote a story predicting where quarterbacks will land this offseason, with Cousins listed under San Francisco to be the player under center in 2021.
"“There’s a Football Team reunion in the Bay Area. Kyle Shanahan gets his guy by trading with the Vikings,” the story states. “Minnesota, currently projected to be over the cap for 2021, clear about $11 million in space.”"
With the hypothetical idea of Cousins being traded to San Francisco, the story by NBC Sports added the Vikings could then take a rookie quarterback in the draft — in this case, Alabama’s Mac Jones — to lead the team moving forward at a lower cost.
What are the chances the Minnesota Vikings trade Kirk Cousins?
The move of Cousins to the 49ers makes sense when it comes to his contract and the salary situation in Minnesota. The Vikings are slated as having the ninth-worst salary cap situation in the NFL going into 2021 and the team is going to have to make some more moves this offseason to free up space.
Cousins, on the other hand, has two years left on his deal while set to make roughly $21 million in 2021 and $35 million in 2022.
Cousins has been relatively consistent and solid for the Vikings, which is really all you can ask for out of a quarterback.
But it’s an interesting idea to think about what the team could do without Cousins’ contract on the books, and Minnesota could very well end up being a team that jumps into the ring of a team looking for a new quarterback like seemingly half the NFL.